Interactive Teaching Conference Reflections

This week I had the pleasure of attending and speaking at the interactive teaching and learning conference in Sydney.


Here are some of the interesting thoughts and ideas I came across during the conference:

1.  When given a choice, 97% of students choose an apple device over a PC (not sure if this is an Apple is better than PC debate or an example of the power of marketing!).

Of the ninety seven percent, sixty percent choose and iPad, and thirty seven percent choose an MacBook.  This is worth considering.  If your school chooses to implement PC program, ninety seven percent would wish you had done something else.

2.  One of the speakers made the following quote:

Writing is a very important skill that every student should master so that once they have written their exams they will never use again.

Do you agree or disagree?

3.  Another speaker quoted from Mark Dean (Link to Mark’s full blog post):

PCs are being replaced at the center of computing not by another type of device—though there’s plenty of excitement about smart phones and tablets—but by new ideas about the role that computing can play in progress. These days, it’s becoming clear that innovation flourishes best not on devices but in the social spaces between them, where people and ideas meet and interact. It is there that computing can have the most powerful impact on economy, society and people’s lives.

4.  The three foundations of innovative teaching practices:

  • Student centred (personalised, collaborative, knowledge building, self-regulated)
  • Extended learning (the students have shared responsibility, but also a shared participation in the decision making)
  • ICT integration (the students are given the choice about how to approach the learning)

5.  We need to move to a place where the students can take control of their learning.

There is a lot of technology in schools, but it is still in the control of the teacher – quoting Alan November 

We were challenged to think about who owns the learning in our classrooms, something I hadn’t stopped to consider before.

6.  Augmented reality is set to hit the classrooms.

Augmented reality is now available for teachers to teach the internal organs of the body.  The students hold up a printed page in front of their stomach and the augmented reality software converts the image.

I couldn’t find the video I wanted, but the following thirty second video is a great demonstration of what is possible.


6. Here are a few links you might like to check out

A collection of tweets during the conference (will have lots of links to great content)

A link to a number of sessions hosted by the PLC staff.

I ran a few workshops on creating self grading assessments, how to choose which technology to implement in your classrooms, and how to create a social media policy for your school (including how to use Twitterand Facebook without compromising your professional relationship with your students)

Office Lens app: An essential tool for your teacher toolkit

The Office Lens App, available on all mobile platforms is an amazing tool.
At a basic level, you can capture notes, whiteboard notes and so on, but it’s integration with both Microsoft and Google allow you to take this tool to another level.

In this office lens example you will see how you can take a printed worksheet and turn it into an editable worksheet in under a minute.


How to create a copy of a Google Doc with 1 click

It happens a bit too often. You have prepared a Google Doc, Sheet or slide deck that is formatted really well, has great images and everything looks fabulous. If you share it with editing permissions, there is a very high chance that all your work will get messed up. If


Technology, sustainability and saying goodbye to some old friends.

If you were to create a pile of all the LPs, cassettes and CDs you ever owned how big would it be? Where are they all now? Did you throw them out? Recycle them?
Technology has both positive and negative consequences – the impact of some technological change on the environment has been massive. Exploring technology, sustainability and the environment should be part of all curriculums.


LearnBytes episode #6 – Michelle Bowditch: Do these 4 things when facing uncertainty or frustration

Samantha is joined by Michelle Bowditch, the founder of Door 20A and a Tech Lover, Educator Connecter & Advocate for Executive Assistants.

In her race against the clock, Michelle shares the 4 things you can do when facing uncertainty or frustration – even with little things like tech problems! We also hear some great podcast recommendations & a handy tip for planning your podcast listening.


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In 2018, Using Technology Better designed and delivered a two phase post-migration training program for this New Zealand based graphic design firm. The initial goal of the training program was to reduce frustration with G Suite, with the long term aim of facilitating a change in culture and collaboration that can lead to transformative practices

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